licht architecture builds a floating sauna from two contrasting pavilions in tasmania

licht architecture builds a floating sauna from two contrasting pavilions in tasmania

on a lake, in a small tasmanian town, floats a sauna designed by licht architecture. composed of two contrasting, shed-like pavilions, the design is characterized by clean silhouettes and simple, honest materials. floating in the landscape, the sauna offers a place of relaxation and isolation, stillness and recovery – immerse yourself in the landscape, take a plunge in the lake, before retreating back into the soothing warmth.

licht architecture builds a floating sauna on lake derby in tasmania designboom

all images by anjie blair

 

 

the town of derby was a booming tin mining town from the 1870s – 1940s, then for decades it became an almost ghost town. it is now home to tasmania’s world class mountain biking trails. this sauna project by licht architecture floats on brisei’s hole, more affectionately known as lake derby, which was formed through mining activities.

licht architecture builds a floating sauna on lake derby in tasmania designboom

 

 

floating on a pontoon, the two pavilions are connected to the shore by a small pedestrian bridge. one pavilion contains a changing room, the second is the sauna. the concept was influenced by the fixed parameters of the pontoon and glazing size, both of which were predetermined. during the design process, the architect tested numerous form options, however, kept returning to the simplicity of the two gables, and the simplicity of the contrasting materials and the play of light and shadow.

licht architecture builds a floating sauna on lake derby in tasmania designboom

 

 

visitors can leave their shoes on the shore, cross the small bridge, store their bikes and get changed before soaking in the heat of the timber-lined sauna. taking cues from derby’s contrasting history of boom and bust (then fortunately boom again) two black and white gable sheds sit quietly against the dramatic backdrop of quarry cliffs and rainforest. the material choice reflects each function. the dark recessive burnt larch offers solitude and privacy for the sauna. in contrast, a light-filled changing pavilion casts subtle silhouettes of the users within against the ampelite cladding.

licht architecture builds a floating sauna on lake derby in tasmania designboom

 

 

the design concept focuses on the sensory experience and progression of privacy and containment. once leaving the land, the first transition is from land to water. the timber batten fence and gate provide a physical barrier, and once within the perimeter, users can feel like they’ve entered ‘their own space’ separated from visible public tracks.

licht architecture builds a floating sauna on lake derby in tasmania designboom

 

 

the changing room offers enclosure and shelter from the elements and privacy to undress. once changed, users can sit in the sun looking out at the lake, protected by the overhanging roof and semi hidden behind a white slatted screen – passing riders are still visible and water lapping against the pontoon is audible. the sauna takes you to another world. inside, its quiet and the change in temperature insists on relaxation. everything beside and behind is removed and you’re focus is solely on the lake. here, visitors experience the escape from their high intensity mountain biking adventures. finally, visitors can choose to take the plunge into the brisk lake derby waters.

licht architecture builds a floating sauna on lake derby in tasmania designboom

licht architecture builds a floating sauna on lake derby in tasmania designboom

licht-architecture-floating-sauna-lake-derby-designboom-1800-1

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